What Exactly Is Quality Content?

 In Content Marketing
“Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.” ― Henry Ford

Ahh, quality.

It’s elusive golden word tossed around at least 20 times a day.

If you’re the type of human being who refuses to roll with a mediocre definition of “quality,” you probably came here to define and learn what makes “quality content.”

The thing is, “quality content” is entirely subjective.

But there are a few objective and scientifically proven traits that make quality content, well, “quality.” Here are some tips on how to make your content full of quality:

1. Credibility

Let’s go into an alternate universe and pretend that this book was about dogs that dig deep-dish pizza (bare with me here). It’s a great book, and you found yourself devouring the content so readily that you forget to check out the credibility of the author. You do a quick Google search and discover something shocking: The author is a cat lover who is allergic to pizza. The credibility of the author would immediately take a nosedive, wouldn’t it? (for the record, this writer you’re reading is a dog lover who loves pizza).

my dog

see. this is my dog, Karma. (She likes pizza too)

This example demonstrates the need for credibility in your content. But for better or worse, credibility almost never has a “tell.” It just is, and it’s up to the readers whether they believe it to be credible. The easiest way to do this is by doing your own research.

Here are some ways to make sure your credibility is on point:

  • Writer. It’s the writer’s job to keep the content honest, real and relevant.
  • Tone. This means a balance between serious information and voice. Let’s be honest: Most online content is way too serious. Whether your natural “writer” voice is funny, frank or motivating, you should use it freely when you write. Your voice adds authenticity, which easily translates to credibility. 
  • Subject matter. Make your content meaningful to your readers. Always offer value in a clear way. Whether you’re giving career advice or supporting a controversial viewpoint about cats (who eat pizza), you need to come across as an “expert” about your subject matter without sounding condescending.
  • Unique perspective. If you’re rehashing the same material as everyone else in your industry, your content may not be perceived as “quality” because nothing sets you apart. Instead, infuse your content with your personal or professional perspective. When you integrate your personal experiences with your professional perspective, you can create content gold.

2. Virtuosity

Virtuosity is “an appreciation for fine objects of art.” So what in the world does it have to do with content?

Well, like art, content creates conversation and connections, both of which lead to business. And since I believe that marketing your business is an art form, virtuosity is the path to connect.

sunset in NYC

Some ways to determine if your content has virtuosity:

  • Design. Your content should live on a website that has a simple, stunning design. High-quality images (that you create yourself) always help too. You don’t always need flashy colors (or God forbid, flash) to make your web design stand out. You just need simplicity. Let your words be the focus of your site.
  • Grammar. Grammar is a staple of quality content. Just keep in mind that some of the best writers follow in the footsteps of Pablo Picasso, who encouraged learning the rules like a pro, “so you can break them like an artist.” You don’t always have to worry about misplaced commas when writing for readers of the web – but please, please avoid lazy, purposeless typos. 
  • Story. If design is the heart of quality content and grammar is the mind, then stories are the soul. Just like a good movie or book, stories reveal the invisible lines that tie your content’s purpose together. Regardless of content format, be clear about your story before you write a single word, or design a color palette. 

3. Engagement

Raise your hand if you like engagement. Now, raise your hand if you raised your hand.

If you just raised your hand at any point, great news! We’re engaged. Not in the “if you like it, put a ring on it” kind of way, but the “we’re actively getting to know one another” sense of the word.

I’ll  just leave a {hashtag/engagement} right here.


Engagement is one of the most crucial aspects of quality content because it’s the main method for adding context. In other words, when you create a piece of content, you’ve got the content itself and then “everything else” that makes it high quality and shareable. Engagement is the “everything else.”

Here are a few tips to engage with your audience on the most popular distribution platforms:

  • Blog Content. You’re a whip-smart human, so you may already know this: One of the easiest ways to engage on your blog is to allow comments. This builds a two-way connection with your readers, where comments allow the writer to see the reader and vice versa. (Just make sure the writer of the article replies and interacts with the commenters).
  • Facebook. Facebook is one of the noisiest platforms, so create a value plan before you publish anything. Don’t just post a link to an article. Rather, create context for everything you share. Make a bold statement or ask a question. Whatever you do, don’t push the “publish” button until you have clarity around your message, and you know what action you want to incite.
  • Twitter. When sharing an article on Twitter, tag the author. If the article is relevant to certain influencers, tag them, too. This increases engagement and lets the author know that you’re reading and sharing his or her work.
  • Instagram. Instagram has a whopping 300 million engaged users each month.To engage on this platform, you have to be selective about what you share. Only post high-quality images, and be sure to target your desired audience by utilizing hashtags and trending conversations.
  • Pinterest. On Pinterest, each article that you create must have a beautiful image to go with it. Consider using a plug-in like the “Pinterest Pin It Button for Images,” which allows readers to pin your images onto one of their boards using a single click.

Now that we know the objective aspects of quality content, is there anything to be done about the inherent subjectivity of “quality” content? Well, for better or worse, it will probably always be just that: subjective. But by laying an objectively high-quality foundation, you can feel free to have fun and experiment knowing that its quality will shine.

Learn more about how you can have fun and experiment with quality content that works for you

(This article originally appeared on the studioD blog).

The post What is “Quality” Content? appeared first on Jessica Ann Media.

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Jessica Ann
Jessica Ann is the CEO + Creative Director of Jessica Ann Media {JAM}, a creative agency that develops compelling content for top-tier brands. Before launching {JAM}, Jessica worked as a news producer for national media outlets such as NBC Newschannel and XM Radio in Washington D.C., and earned her Master’s Degree in Communications from Johns Hopkins University. I’m most active on Twitter and Google +. And love hanging out on Instagramand Pinterest. oh, and here’s my Facebook page and LinkedIn profile if that’s more your thing.
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Showing 3 comments
  • Xryztin / TapAnalytics

    Great tips there Jessica! Content (plus consistency) is a big factor especially if you do social media marketing. Most marketers have troubles keeping up with marketing in multi-plstform but even if you manage a lot of social media accounts and you have TapAnalytics (www.TapAnalytics.com), you can easily monitor your campaigns in a single dashboard as well as get real time alerts. Talk about working smart!

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